Kimi Raikkonen warned not to read too much into Lotus's apparent step forward in form during Indian Grand Prix practice.
The Finn was fifth quickest on Friday afternoon at Buddh, and also recorded impressive long-run pace.
But Raikkonen denied that his Friday speed had been "anything special".
"I said we were probably eight tenths behind Red Bull at the last race, so we got a bit closer in qualifying, but I don't think they did a perfect job in qualifying. So I think we're more or less the same here," he said.
"The long run seemed quite good but I wouldn't say it was anything special. They are still faster than us. We are maybe a little bit closer, but that's our speed."
He said it would be misleading to read too much into practice laptimes.
"It's always hard to say what they've been doing. We were faster on some laps, but they could have made mistakes or something," Raikkonen argued.
"For sure we can still improve over one lap, but then we are not far from our maximum speed."
Lotus introduced its Coanda-style exhaust for the previous race in Korea. The team acknowledged that the upgrade's downforce benefits were compromised by a cost to straightline speed, and Raikkonen said this remained an issue.
"You lose quite a bit [on the straights] but hopefully for the next races we can make some modifications and get some horsepower back," he said.